CHARLESTON, W.Va. – May is Preservation Month and the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office (WVSHPO) is celebrating by informing the public about various activities of our office.
Beginning in 1973 as a joint Congressional Resolution for a Preservation Week, President Richard Nixon signed the resolution into law on May 5. In 2005 this was extended to include the entire month of May.
Preservation Month seeks to highlight historic places, encourage heritage tourism, and demonstrate the social and economic benefits of historic preservation.
This month we focus on the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.
WVSHPO strives to preserve and celebrate the thousands of West Virginia buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts listed on the National Register. Some of the recent National Register listings include:
The West Virginia State University Faculty House Historic District in Institute, Kanawha County, was listed on April 19, 2021. The district is comprised of ten unique, single-family homes designed by master architect John Clavon Norman Sr., one of West Virginia’s first Black professional architects. Through funding from New Deal programs, the homes were built to provide much-needed housing for faculty and staff in the 1930s. It is situated on the campus of West Virginia State University and continues to house current faculty.
The Charmco Building in Charleston, Kanawha County, was listed on Nov. 30, 2020. The Charmco Building is a large, brick warehouse building near downtown Charleston that was completed in 1914. It was built as a state-of-the-art mill operation for Charleston Milling and Produce Company, the region’s largest mill and distributor. The company produced a variety of flours until 1951. A large painted advertisement for their flour is still visible on the side of the building.
The Graham-Davis Historic District in Elkins, Randolph County, was listed on April 19, 2021. Covering approximately 45 acres, the district is mostly residential in nature and is comprised primarily of formally platted additions to the city of Elkins, representing the significant growth the City experienced at the turn of the 20th century. A variety of architectural styles are represented in the district, including Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Craftsman and American Foursquare.
The Gum Farmstead Historic District in Camden, Lewis County, was listed on Nov. 30, 2020. The Gum Farmstead is a 117-year-old, 46-acre family farm complex surrounded by mature trees, multiple pastures, crop fields and meandering perennial streams that all contribute to the idyllic rural setting. The farm contributed to Lewis County’s ranking as one of the foremost stock-raising counties in the state.
For more information on these resources or the National Register program, please contact Emily Vance, National Register and Architectural Survey coordinator, at Emily.S.Vance@wv.gov.